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Baby Shaker was the hottest new video game for the iPhone, until Apple changed its mind and deigned it offensive, removing it from the App Store.  (Source: YouTube)
Apple appears very confused when it comes to baby shaking

When it comes to iPhone apps, Apple has received bad press aplenty for its policy of strictly regulating the application market.  From competitive browsers to "offensive" apps like a South Park app, the iPhone App Store may have millions of apps, but is still relatively closed.

However, Apple is in the unusual situation this time around for being in hot water for an app it approved.  Apple approved an interesting title -- Baby Shaker -- on the App Store Monday.  This video game, authored by Sikalosoft, looked to channel the inner English au pair in some people, making shaking a baby (as the name implies) into a videogame.

The game consisted of multiple levels.  Each level had a drawing of a baby, which crying loudly.  You would shake the phone until the baby stopped crying and red X's appeared over its eyes (apparently signifying the baby's death).  The app was available from Monday to Wednesday night for $0.99.

Child advocacy groups pitched a fit, demanding Apple remove the app and stating unequivocally that killing babies was unacceptable.  Apple caved in, ruling that there is no longer a place in the world for Baby Shaker.  However, many are noting the curiousness that the company, which is usually so strict with offensive content (like the South Park app) would approve the app in the first place.

As some are pointing out, Apple's iTunes store sells some music which could be designed as highly offensive, with lyrics featuring sexually explicit content, violence, racism, homophobic remarks, strong language, and stories of criminal behavior.

However, as in the past, while other mediums like music and art may deal in the same themes, video games receive the most controversy.  From Wii Beer Pong to the Columbine video game, video game developers' creative licenses have often led to confrontations with the moral opinions of many in society.

You can view a video of Baby Shaker here, and decide for yourself whether it should have be banned.

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RE: geeez
By callmeroy on 4/23/2009 1:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
This is wrong and Apple is stupid for ever even allowing it temporarily.

Here's why --

Short Version: Babies and young kids are off limits, as they have not yet grasped the reasoning ability to make their own decisions based on moral guidance. In short - they are completely innocent.

Long Version: First for me my own sense of moral values is all I need to tell the difference between a computer game with shaking a baby isn't right while at the same time I can play a game where I blow adults up (see short version for part of "why" I think this way).

In your average game there is some kind of mission or intended storyline which provides for the "fantasy" of the game world... Be in you are playing a wanna be gangster trying to build your reputation and power, a soldier on some top secret mission, a race car driver, a space explorer, etc. etc. They are clear goals that take us away from our real life (unless you are a gangster who kills people, a soldier on a top secret mission, race car driver, etc...) and allow us to pretend to be something we never would do in the real world because of things like KNOWING IT WOULD BE WRONG, it would be against the law or something we just wouldn't cut it doing (like being a secret agent). However, the illusion is created and therefore we clearly know it doesn't mimic our actual life or most people's actual lives for that matter.

Conversely, what's the goal or story to a baby shaker game? There is none -- its simply....shake the baby. There's no fantasy world there's no escape from reality -- there's no disconnect from something being fake or real.

This is just how I rationalize these things....just like I wouldn't play a game where you shoved Jews into ovens, or lynch Black Americans....but I'd have no problem blow the head off a terrorist in a game, and no moral conscience of kill baddies trying to take over the world.

If you really need this much explaination to know right and wrong - you are a very disturbed individual.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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